Genetic Diet: What it is, how it works
Genetic diet – advice and recommendations based on a person’s specific genetic make-up – is a relatively new scientific discipline that is used by a number of leading dietitians.
However, there is naturally still a degree of confusion as to what a genetic diet actually is, how it works, and what it is of benefit.
In this post, Rachel Clarkson, the DNA Dietitian and one of the UK’s experts in Nutrigenomics (the name for genetic diet) will provide all the key information.
Genetic Dieting – The Quick Read
Genetic diet is dietary and nutritional advice that takes into consideration a person’s specific genetic make-up.
The patient’s DNA is analysed in an advanced laboratory and this then creates a detailed profile of how they react to different nutrients and food stuffs – both in a positive way, but also any issues such as food intolerances.
The dietitian who is trained in Nutrigenomics is then able to use this information and create a fully bespoke dietary plan for the individual that helps them to achieve their health goals in a way that is most in tune with their body.
Genetic diet does not replace traditional skills used by dietitians, it is an extra skill in their armoury.
It helps them to truly tailor advice for an individual, rather than basing advice on the more general population.
Perhaps, more than anything, it provides certainty.
The certainty that the diet you are following is completely in tune with both your aims and your body.
Genetic diet can perhaps sound overly complex, it focuses more on the science than the results.
Instead, genetic diet and the whole science of nutrigenomics can be seen as personalised diet.
The benefits of a personalised diet have been obvious for many decades. Multiple patients might have similar aims – for instance to lose weight, or to have a diet that is perfect for professional sport, or to help manage a serious health condition.
However, just sharing those aims does not mean that they would all benefit from exactly the same diet.
Dietitians have always used all available information, they work with other healthcare professionals to ensure that any nutritional advice is in line with any other aspects of healthcare.
They would assess the patient’ full medical history, they would factor in known intolerances, they would base advice on the patient’s lifestyle, for instance how active they are.
Access to genetic information takes this a huge step forward.
The first steps in making a diet personalised by what might be called unseen factors was using blood type.
This garnered a lot of interest, but created results that were dubious scientifically – how much can be learnt just by someone’s blood type?
It took the completion of the Human Genome Project in the early 2000s to open the door fully for nutrigenomics, the project establishing new links between nutrition, genes and health.
Essentially, our genetics mean that we all respond differently to different nutrients.
Bespoke Diet Benefits
A nutrigenomic approach ensures that any dietary advice from a professional dietitian is truly in line with your body’s unique genetic make-up.
This is not to say that advice without resort to genetic insight is inherently flawed.
Dietitians are highly skilled experts and have been doing great work for decades, this long before genetic analysis became possible.
A dietitian will always tailor advice to the individual as much as possible, and then revisit this if any issues arise, or the nutritional advice fails to have the desired impact.
However, the bespoke genetic diet can give levels of extra detail that would otherwise be unavailable.
For instance, it might identify food intolerances that would otherwise be near-impossible to detect, but still have a major impact.
In studies, genetic analysis has also helped to identify those for whom reduction in sodium can have major health benefits, it has also demonstrated the best ways for people to lose weight based on how their body is reacting to food ingested.
The bespoke plan can show how any patient should plan their overall diet – what percentage of their energy should come from protein vs carbs vs fats. The advice will include nutrients and vitamins that the patient needs to take extra care with, perhaps needing more or less than the ‘average’ person.
For those with active lifestyles, it can even show whether someone has a high likelihood of certain types of injuries and how diet can help to mitigate this.
Genetic Diet Test
The lab testing produces a huge amount of information, it would be overwhelming if simply passed to a patient.
This is where the skill of the trained dietitian is so important.
They can take all this information, combine it with conversations with the client and produce a superb, bespoke dietary plan.
There is no point simply recommending a diet without first discussing with the client – the genetic profile might, for instance, show that eating fatty fish would be beneficial.
However, if this is a food type that the person cannot stand, there would be little point imposing it.
Instead, the dietitian will work with your preferences, your lifestyle and your eating habit to find that perfect middle ground of a diet you can enjoy – enjoy, not just put up with – but is also of huge benefit.
There is a wealth of science behind it, there is lab testing, there are the hours spent by the dietitian turning it into a plan.
There are consultations and conversations with the client.
However, this all ultimately creates a simple, easy to follow and enjoyable dietary plan that is in tune with what the client wants to achieve and their personal genetic make-up.
Suitability for Genetic Diet
Ultimately, anyone could benefit from a genetic diet as it provides that certainty that diet is in tune with your body.
Many find that this certainty also makes it easier to stick to a plan, once we know that what we eat and drink is perfect for our needs, we are far more likely to stick to it.
It also helps that we start feeling the benefits.
However, there are also specific groups who often seek a genetic diet, and these are often those who would already be considering the services of a dietitian.
Regular clients include:
- Those who are pregnant or looking for a diet to boost fertility, or maintain peak health during pregnancy
- Professional athletes / those involved in sports. This can also apply to keen amateurs
- Those managing health issues
- Those with concerns such as lack of energy, mental health concerns or a sense that their diet isn’t helping them
- Those who want to improve their diet but aren’t sure where to start.
Eating the DNA way can improve your
- Risk of disease
- Body composition
- Gut health
- Immune system
The Genetic Diet Process
The process will vary a little depending on who you entrust, but as a guide, Rachel Clarkson would follow these steps.
- An initial consultation would be held (please note, Rachel offers free 10-minute initial conversations so can you get a sense for whether she is the dietitian for you)
- A full assessment would be undertaken, whether in person or remotely if an online consultation is preferred.
- If the client wants the genetic diet option, a sample would be taken. This is a simple saliva swab
- The sample is sent to a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited lab for analysis
- Rachel receives the report back based on your genetics and talks through them with you
- Rachel turns all this information into your bespoke dietary plan.
From you, the client’s point of view it is a very simple process. It is a conversation and consultation with the dietitian, a quick sample, and then, after a further conversation, you get your completely bespoke dietary plan, a plan perfectly in tune with your needs.
Videos Explaining Genetic Diet
Sometimes, a video can replace thousands of words. Please watch the videos below, which all offer further, detailed information relating to nutrigenomics.
What to expect during your assessment
How are diet and genetics connected
What is included in your genetic report
Free Initial Consultation
As a leading dietitian, Rachel Clarkson – the DNA Dietitian – is ideally placed to provide advice that is tailored to your individual needs.
However, Rachel is also aware that it is important for any potential client to find the right person, someone they feel comfortable with, someone they will enjoy working with as they look to tailor their diet.
Rachel therefore offers a completely free initial introductory call, this is a perfect opportunity to chat to her and see if she seems right for you.
The call is completely without obligation – simply have it and then decide post call, at your leisure whether to book in any sessions. Sessions can be virtual or in person at Rachael’s London clinic, allowing you to take advantage of a top pregnancy nutritionist wherever you are based in the UKÃ‚
As the DNA Dietitian, Rachel Clarkson is at the forefront of the move to genetics-based dietary advice.
She has universally five star reviews and two of her most recent testimonials state:
“Rachel helped me change my eating habits and have much more awareness of what I put into my body. My digestion has completely changed and I am very grateful! I feel so much more knowledgeable now and would recommend her to anyone not only wanting to help with the loss of weight, but also to have a healthy approach in life”
“Would highly recommend Rachel to anyone seeking to improve their health! I found my genetic analysis to be an empowering and motivating tool to make healthy changes using Rachel’s techniques. In just 3 sessions I feel more in control of my health and feel like I have the knowledge to filter through all of the poor nutritional information I hear so much in the media!”
If you want to see if Rachel is the dietitian for you, why not book a free 15-minute discovery call?
This will be an opportunity to chat with Rachel, discuss your requirements and also find out more about DNA diets and their benefits for you.